18 Fun Chocolate Facts

Chocolate is, for many, the stuff of dreams. Its taste as well as its health benefits make chocolate one of the most important foods. This article discusses various interesting facts, the history of chocolate and trivia about it!

Let’s begin our article with the most interesting chocolate facts:

  • before arriving in stores, this sweet product has to be collected somehow. Cacao trees are the ones that produce what we know as chocolate. These trees are some of the most sensitive ones. They have to be protected from the sun and wind. A full-grown cacao tree can reach a height of 15-25 feet. Some of the tallest cacao trees measure over 60 feet (or 18.28 m). This tree can live up to 200 years in the wild;
  • flower clusters appear when the tree is 3-5 years old. Flowers will appear soon after. Another interesting fact is that the blossom of a cacao tree has 5 petals. They’re white and pink. The name of its fruit is “pod.” The latter’s colors can be either green or brown. The fruit is harvested, then it has to be cut. Pods will afterwards be transported, in baskets, to the edge of a field. There, the fruit has to go through a breaking operation. A pod can produce 20-50 beans. 1 pound (453 grams) of chocolate requires around 400 beans;
  • cocoa beans must go through fermentation next. This will take 3-9 days. During this process, the bean turns a dark shade. After that, its usual flavor appears. Its normal bitter taste lessens;
  • another process follows soon. During this phase, the bean is dried. It then ends up, with others, in a sack. Factories which make chocolate will receive these sacks afterwards. Here is where the magic happens. First, the sacks are cataloged. Origin and type are taken into account for this. Next, the cocoa beans have to be roasted. This will take approximately 2 hours. The beans must go through shelling now, and this results in the apparition of chocolate nibs. They have 54% cocoa butter in them. In fact the butter comes out after the beans experience grinding (is ground). Solid nibs turn into chocolate liquor. The latter needs to pass through a huge press. This makes sure a certain cocoa butter quantity is cleared away. Cocoa powder is what results from the previous action;chocolate
  • the actual solid form of the chocolate we eat is achieved through a special process. Cocoa powder, sugar, cocoa butter, and milk are all combined. Vanilla can also go into this mix. Heavy rollers will then transform the combo into a paste that’s very smooth. The next stage: developing the chocolate’s flavor. This has the following name: “conching.” Here’s the last action: tempering. The temperature is raised, then lowered. After that, it’s raised once more. The chocolate is ready to be discharged into different shapes;
  • no one knows for certain where the first cacao tree appeared. However, the first mention of “chocolate” was made during Hernando Cortez’s time. This explorer first saw Aztec Indians make something known as “xocolatl.” Their emperor, Montezuma II, was said to consume the following daily: 50 goblets filled with hot chocolate.

How about some fun facts now:

  1. Alfred Hitchcock used, for Psycho, chocolate syrup. This mimicked blood in one of the movie’s most popular scenes;
  2. on average, an American eats over 10 pounds (4.53 kg) of chocolate per year;
  3. Theobroma Cacao is the Latin word for a cacao tree. It translates as “food of the gods;”
  4. chocolate was the favorite currency for the Maya and the Aztecs;
  5. red wine goes very well with chocolate (the dark variety). Sparkling wine and champagne aren’t an advisable combination, since they’re acidic;
  6. dark chocolate containing 70% cocoa comes with healthy elements. They’re called antioxidants. Chocolate has iron, potassium, riboflavin (which is rich in vitamin B), and calcium. People who eat chocolate (in particular, the dark variety) have better peripheral blood flow and lower blood pressure. It’s also great for memory. Dark chocolate offers us better reaction times;
  7. milk chocolate was created for the first time in 1875;
  8. Germany has the largest chocolate-made cuckoo clock;
  9. chocolate was once considered to turn people into heretics;
  10. the Swiss are the ones to consume the most amount of chocolate. Each of them eats 22 pounds (9.97 kg) of chocolate;
  11. bronchitis is treated with chocolate in the Mexican city of Oaxaca;
  12. the country which produces the most amount of chocolate is Belgium. 172,000 tons come out every year;
  13. 3 million tons of cacao are produced in 1 year on our planet;
  14. chocolate has a certain smell which is known to make people relaxed;
  15. there were plans of using an exploding bar of chocolate to kill Churchill;
  16. apart from dark and milk, blonde and white chocolate also exist;
  17. if you have chronic headaches (or migraines), better stay away from chocolate;
  18. children can get ADHD from chocolate.

Now for a not so fun fact: chocolate comes from forced child labor. You should buy chocolate that has a Fair Trade Certification.

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